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Originally published June 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM | Page modified June 8, 2013 at 9:30 PM

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Storm off the mark in loss to Shock

Seattle was 0 for 17 from three-point range after making eight in a win against Phoenix at home Sunday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Friday

Storm @ Atlanta, 4:30 p.m.

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If left open, WNBA players can make at least one three-pointer, right?

The Storm couldn’t against Tulsa on Friday night.

Even when left wide open and given time to set their feet, square their hips and eye the basket before releasing, the Storm players couldn’t hit from the outside in a 67-58 loss.

“It is surprising,” Storm coach Brian Agler said. “I really don’t anticipate that happening to many teams. This is one of those games. It happened.”

Seattle was 0 for 17 from three-point range after making eight in a win against Phoenix at home on Sunday. It’s just the third time in the franchise’s 14-year history that it hasn’t hit at least one three-pointer, the last being in 2008.

Yet, the lack of outside shots was only part of the problem. Players also mentioned playing flat, looking blasé before 6,879 fans at KeyArena.

“We came out flat,” Storm point guard Temeka Johnson said. “The group we have now, we know we can’t take many shortcuts … we have to stay in the moment because that’s the most important (thing) and tonight we weren’t really there. We were in the moment in spurts and we allowed them to keep the edge, which is something we can’t allow. Especially not on (our) home court.”

Storm forward Tina Thompson led the Storm (1-2) with 17 points, and forward Glory Johnson had 17 points for the Shock (1-4).

But Thompson, who shot 42.7 percent from outside last season, was 0 for 4 from the new extended three-point line on Friday. Teammate Noelle Quinn, who shot 40.3 percent from outside in 2012, was also 0 for 4.

“It’s tough,” Quinn said. “It kind of slipped away. But at the same time, the season is early.”

The Storm closed to 59-54 after a layin by Thompson with 2:05 remaining, but Shock rookie Skylar Diggins made four straight free throws to push Tulsa’s lead to 63-54 with 1:05 left, ending the Seattle threat.

The Storm found some room to move in the paint, outscoring Tulsa inside, but Seattle had trouble everywhere else at KeyArena.

Seattle was down 15-8 after a jumper by Kayla Pedersen in the opening quarter before its offense started to click. Rookie Tiana Hawkins scored four quick points off the bench in the second quarter to give the Storm its first lead at 21-20 with 7:58 remaining in the opening half.

Seattle’s lead didn’t last long.

The Storm struggled to find offense in the first half. Thompson was 5 of 8 from the field at the break, but her teammates were a combined 8 of 25 and entered the break down 34-29.

“It’s a wasted game,” Storm guard Tanisha Wright said.

It had been a rough week for Tulsa, which re-signed forward Courtney Paris this week due to a flood of injuries and lost two games in overtime.

The Shock lost Australian 6-foot-8 center Liz Cambage, due to a left ankle sprain. Post Tiffany Jackson-Jones remains out with a stress fracture and guard Riquna Williams did not travel due to an undisclosed reason.

Despite the short bench, Tulsa got its first win after losing its first four games.

“It’s definitely a win we’ve been wanting,” Johnson said.

Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or jevans@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @JaydaEvans

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